844. Anthus similis.
The Brown Rock-Pipit.
Agrodroma similis, Jerd. Madr. Journ. L. S. xi, p. 35 (1840). Anthus similis (Jerd.), Blyth, Cat. p. 135 (pt.); Horsf. & M. Cat, i, p. 356. Agrodroma sordida (Rupp.), apud Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 236; Hume, J.A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 119; Hume, Cat. no. 604; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 246. Agrodroma jerdoni, Finsch, Trans. Z. S. vii, p. 241 (1870); Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 227, pl. xxi; Hume, N. & F. p. 386; id. S. F. i, p. 203 ; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 491. Corydalla griseorufescens, Hume, Ibis, 1870, pp. 286, 400. Anthus jerdoni (Finsch), Sharpe, Cat. B. At. x, p. 562; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 212.
Coloration. Upper plumage ashy brown, the feathers narrowly edged with fulvous, and with dark shaft-streaks; wings brown, broadly edged with bright fulvous ; tail brown or black margined with fulvous, the outermost feather with the outer web and the terminal half of the inner pale rufous; the penultimate pair of feathers tipped with pale rufous; supercilium and lower plumage fulvous or sandy buff, the breast with a few ill-defined and pale brown streaks.
Iris dark brown ; legs and feet yellowish flesh; bill dark brown above, flesh-colour below (Hume Coll.).
Length about 8.5; tail 3.6; wing 4.1; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .9; hind claw about .45.
This species very closely resembles A. sordidus, Rupp., from Palestine, Arabia, and Africa, but is much larger and more brightly coloured than that bird.
Agrodroma similis of Jerdon was founded on a single specimen, the locality of which was not mentioned in the original description, but was subsequently, in the ' Illustrations of Indian Ornithology,' stated to be Jalna. In the 'Birds of India the Jalna bird was referred to A. sordida, the name there adopted for the present species.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the plains of the north-west of India, extending to the east as far as the Sikhim terai and Mughal Sarai, and to the south as far as Khandesh, Jalna, and Nagpur. This Pipit retires in summer to the Himalayas, where it breeds from Hazara to Sikhim, up to about 6000 feet elevation. The range of this bird extends to Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Persia.
Habits, &c. Breeds at Murree and in Afghanistan, below 6000 feet, from May to July, making a rough nest of grass on a hill-side, and laying four eggs, which are brownish or greyish white marked with brown and purple, and measure about .85 by .63.